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Zinke Says New Mexico Monuments Won't Shrink

06 December 2017

Zinke is recommending the management plan be inclusive of the local community and what works for them.

Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus says Zinke "is in no position to make a sound judgment on Gold Butte".

Trump did, however, reduce the size of two large-scale national monuments on land sacred to American Indians.

Zinke shot back, calling that "nefarious, false and a lie".

Outdoor retailer REI also criticized Trump but in less harsh language.

LePage said he didn't want to expend resources on promoting the monument until Trump made a final decision on the future of the property.

"The Wilderness Society has already filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's efforts to gut Grand Staircase-Escalante", the Wilderness Society said on its blog.

An alliance of environmental groups sued earlier Monday to block the action on Grand Staircase.

Trump's executive order triggered the review of monuments designated since 1996 under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants the president authority to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value as national monuments. Bears Ears features thousands of Native American artifacts, including ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs. "It strips protections for sensitive lands and cultural sites, and it is deeply hurtful and insulting to the Native American tribes who worked over many years for the Bears Ears National Monument and its protection". Former President Bill Clinton designated 52,000 acres as the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in 2000 - and Obama expanded it by almost 48,000 acres in 2017.

In addition to creating Escalante Canyons National Park, Stewart says his measure would allow coal mining and grazing within other areas. The move was a high-profile protest over Utah leaders' insistence on getting the Bears Ears designation rescinded and trying to take more control of federal lands.

A coalition of five tribes that pushed for the monument argued in a lawsuit filed in Washington late Monday night that the law only gives presidents the ability to create a national monument, not the ability to downsize one.

Zinke Says New Mexico Monuments Won't Shrink